Manchester City welcomed the return of Premier League football by returning to classic form in their comfortable 3-0 win over Arsenal on Wednesday night.
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring just before half time following an error from David Luiz, before the Brazilian earned a red card for his foul on Riyad Mahrez with Kevin De Bruyne converting the resulting penalty. Phil Foden rounded off the scoring in the first of 11 added minutes after a serious head injury to Eric Garcia delayed the end of the match.
Here are five things to take away from football's return to the Etihad...
Kevin De Bruyne hasn't lost an ounce of fitness or ability
Despite many claims that the lockdown hasn't treated De Bruyne well, the Belgian proved last night that he is just as good as he was 100 days ago when football was officially halted in the UK.
You will have seen the unfortunately-angled image circulated by rival fans of De Bruyne in training that appears to show him as a little softer around the edges than he was before lockdown.
Of course, this was a slight illusion that fooled one or two people into believing he'd slacked off during the pandemic, but judging by his man-of-the-match performance last night he's just as supreme as ever.
Ederson is well and truly mental
I can't blame Ederson for rushing out of his goal to clear a forward pass that was approaching the City box. Not only is it just the way that he plays, but he had the best chance of getting there first. He was also probably really bored, considering Arsenal failed to record a shot on target.
But when his team-mate Eric Garcia collapsed to the ground under the impact of his outstretched body, his reaction was odd, to say the least. Ederson isn't a social character, sure, but it was strange to see him appear to laugh the situation off. Perhaps his own experience being clattered while chasing a stray ball has softened him to the occurrence.
I'm sure Ederson is concerned for Garcia's health - like we all are - but his attitude last night probably confirmed a view that many City fans have held for a while: the man is crazy.
Eric Garcia is a seriously promising defender
On the topic of Garcia, his pre-injury performance yesterday showed why so many City fans rate the young Spaniard so highly. To be fair, Arsenal's performance was far below their expected standard but that shouldn't take away from Garcia's performance in the slightest.
Playing along Aymeric Laporte is a dream situation for any central defender, but his assuredness on the ball and defensive soundness demonstrated what a fantastic prospect he is.
With the 19-year-old in the starting eleven, City have won ten games out of ten, keeping five clean sheets. With stats like that it's easy to forget how young Garcia is when he has such a fantastic influence on the team. While he might not be a regular starter - and Guardiola may be on the lookout for a top-class central defender - everyone should watch out for Eric Garcia to see how the teenager develops throughout his career.
Guardiola is still tactically a level above Arteta
Tactical insight into the game should be taken with a pinch of salt, considering the sending off of David Luiz as well as his shambolic performance before the red card even left Anthony Taylor's pocket.
However, the comfort in which Guardiola's City dominated Arsenal after the 20-minute-mark tells us something about his quality as a coach. Arteta spent two seasons with Guardiola and will have proved his merit as a coach many times, but last night probably demonstrated that Pep still sits a level above his former assistant.
City can still be trusted to pull off a result against Arsenal
Sometimes, certain teams seem to always guarantee a good result. While Arsenal, especially under Arteta, should not be underestimated for the quality they still wield, City fans can be excused for looking at each game against the Gunners with an optimistic eye.
After all, the Blues' last six games against Arsenal have resulted in an aggregate score of 17-2. Kevin De Bruyne also has good reason to look forward to the fixture, with three goals and two man-of-the-match performances against Arsenal in City's two league games against them this season.
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